How can I go to bed tonight without at least a nod to fathers? The lazy part of me would very much like to but there is another part that simply cannot. I had the most amazing father any little girl could dream of - a wonderful, handsome, warm and loving man who encouraged me to dream big and reach for the stars. He called me his pride and joy and I really believed that I was. That belief gave me the confidence to be strong and to have courage. He told me I could do whatever I wanted to do if I wanted it badly enough - and my experience has taught me that he was right about that (sometimes I just don't want it badly enough to do the work). It was his push that propelled me more than once, and his hold that kept me safe. I knew he would catch me when I jumped because he always did. He enfolded me in the best warm hugs and listened thoughtfully when I came to him. He loved my mother without reserve - and I felt secure. He died when I was 36 but he is so very present in my life still.

David is the best of fathers. Honest, loving, fun and always there for the important things whether big or little, he paid (and pays) attention to the things that matter to each of our children. Our sons have followed this heritage and are wonderful fathers. I love to watch them care for their families - to see them tenderly teaching or dreaming up make-believe, to watch them console a hurt or build a fort, to see the love they show, to know that they too will help their children reach for their dreams and protect them from harm.

I am blessed by the fathers in my life. I love them all.

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